Building Empowered Teams

As product leaders, if we want to build great teams, we need to do more than assign tasks and deadlines. We need to create a culture of ownership that empowers and accountables our team. Three areas we need to look at as we lead others include: How can we help create this sort of team […]

Missionaries vs Mercenaries

As a product leader do you want to have a team that is there for the paycheck or the product and the customers? Does the product team you lead consist of missionaries or mercenaries? As Marty Cagan puts it: “Teams of missionaries are engaged, motivated, have a deep understanding of the business context, and tangible […]

Great Teams Improve Mediocre Ideas

Why is having a great team so important to a successful product and company? Because sometimes our ideas as product leaders aren’t the best! “If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or […]


Vulnerability is one of the secrets to a successful team. Teams without vulnerability struggle to work together because they don’t know or trust each other. Achieving vulnerability-based trust is difficult because in the course of career advancement and education, most successful people learn to be competitive with their peers, and protective of their reputations. It […]

Servant Leadership

“True greatness, true leadership, is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you.” J. Oswald Sanders What I love about servant leadership is how it multiplies our impact. A group led by a servant leader produces results greater than what any of the individuals could have […]

Building a team

The work to build a great team is never done. The team never ”arrives”, they just continue to morph and change because you’re dealing with people which is wonderful and messy. Patrick Lencioni’s book, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, captures some of the pitfalls a team can fall into, and I don’t know about you, […]

Become a Lifelong Learner

We all tend to agree that being a lifelong learner is key to succeeding in our careers. And for our teams to succeed, we need each of them to do the same. Despite this, too often our “lifelong learning” ends at attending an industry conference once a year and possibly reading a few articles from […]

Are you achieving failure?

Eric Ries describes the idea of achieving failure in his book The Lean Startup as, “successfully executing a plan that leads nowhere”. As product leaders, we need to find ways to prove out that the plan we are executing on is leading us somewhere valuable, and be bold enough to accept that sometimes we’ll find […]

Are you ready?

A few weeks ago I came across this video about some “preppers” At first, they might seem over the top in their preparations. But what if their fears come true? Then we wouldn’t look at them as being crazy, but prepared. What if rather than what you feared coming true, what if what you hoped […]

The Illusion of Control

We create detailed plans with dates and dependencies mapped out. We plan for risks and pad our estimates for the unknown. And each time we fail to accurately predict the future. We can’t help ourselves though. We’re so consumed with the illusion of control. We’ve convinced ourselves if we just go into more detail, get […]